Monday Harvest – April 1st 2013

This year the weather has definitely changed with the equinox, we have gone from flimsy summer dresses to jeans and jumpers.   Whilst the weather may have changed the harvests are still pretty representative of Summer.  Lots of peppers, in the basket below are Sweet Mama Capsicum and a stray Padron, as well as Hungarian Yellow Wax, Bishops Cap and Tobago Seasoning chillies.


I have been harvesting what must surely be the last of the cucumbers and purple king beans along with ever plentiful supplies of wild rocket leaves.


The cucumbers are overgrown Catalina Pickling.  I like this variety, I pick them earlier for pickling but the are good for the table when they reach this size.


Two of my capsicum plants have produced their first fully ripe fruit this week.  The two in front are Purple Beauty and the one behind is Californian Wonder.  They are all destined to either become pasta sauce or be roasted for salad.


Throughout this summer I have been harvesting basil.  I doesn’t always make my harvest posts but I thought I’d feature it this week as I harvested quite a bit of it to make some pesto for the freezer.  I freeze my pesto in meal sized quantities after the oil is added but before the cheese is.


My final harvest this week are some curry leaf plant berries.  I am going to try propagating more curry leaf plants with these but I wonder if they can also be eaten.  Anyone tried them?  They have the aroma of curry leaves and the colour, size and texture of a black currant.

Curry Leaf Tree Seeds

As always Daphne will be hosting Harvest Monday’s head over and check out what others are cutting this week.

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25 Responses to Monday Harvest – April 1st 2013

  1. Mark Willis says:

    Well, if your weather has turned, then by rights our ought to have too (in the opposite direction), but it hasn’t. We are still experiencing very cold conditions, with strong Easterly winds, so really not good gardening weather!
    The Curry Plant berries are interesting, but I reckon that if they were any good we would have heard of them being used in Indian cuisine. They might be a bit like Asparagus berries – completely overshadowed by the leaves.

    • Liz says:

      Sounds cold! I wondered about not having heard about them too, but then I don’t think they would transport well enough to be a commercial proposition.

  2. I didn’t even get to wear flimsy dresses in summer last year and so far this year is still a three jumpers time.

    No idea about the berries I’m afraid but I wouldn’t try them – they could be poisonous like potato ‘berries’.

    • Liz says:

      3 jumpers doesn’t sound too pleasant at all….. I think I will take your advice re the berries no reason to risk it when the leaves taste good anyway.

  3. I’m sure I’m not the only one you’ve caused to google about the curry berries… 😉 If it’s the same plant, wikipedia mentions that the berries are edible but the seeds are poisonous.

    • Liz says:

      That’s interesting the seeds aren’t particularly big and very much hidden inside the berry so I’m not sure how easy it would be to eat the berry but not seed.

  4. I was wondering about freezing pesto. Our basil has just decided to come up so it’d be a good way to save some for winters

  5. Sarah says:

    I like your idea of freezing pesto – if summer ever arrives here, I’ll sow some extra basil to make pesto for winter pasta.

  6. Norma Chang says:

    Still waiting for spring to arrive and settle down. Got a couple days of springlike weather and its back to below normal again. Ground is still cold so will be a while before I direct sow any thing. Your basil is gorgeous.

    • Liz says:

      It will get there –eventually, our forecast is for some more warm weather on the weekend and I’m really glad as I’m already missing summer.

  7. I love the Bishop Cap and Tobago Seasoning chillies – so cute and beautiful. Are they really spicy?

  8. I love seeing harvests during the opposite season. It gets me excited for things to warm up here!! You had a great harvest this week! Yummy stuff!

  9. marisa says:

    Hi Liz, lovely harvest there. I’ve just pulled up half our basil and am planning to make a few batches of pesto tonight. Might try your tip and freeze without the cheese.

    I’ve also thought of trying to propagate curry-leaf plants, and about a week ago I picked one of the berries and squished it to get the seed out before planting it. BIG MISTAKE. The smell was unbelievably disgusting and worst of all, I couldn’t get it off my fingers even after repeated hand-washing! So the fruit may well be edible, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to eat it. Learn from my mistakes and don’t squash any curry-leaf berries!!

    • Liz says:

      I just went out and did a test and you’re right, although I didn’t mind the smell that much – to me it was a lot like the leaves but stronger – it was really difficult to get rid of.

  10. Nina says:

    I’ve got a HUGE supermarket bagful of basil in the fridge (and more in the garden – erk!) which I’ll do my best to turn into pesto tomorrow as I’ve got the morning off. I usually freeze mine with the parmesan but I might try doing without and adding later as you suggest. I’ll see if it makes a big difference to the taste. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take long to grate a bit of parmesan over the pesto!

    Can you use any dried beans for cooking, does anyone know? I sadly left too many of the Kentucky Wonder unpicked and now they have dried so I thought I could throw a few in a pot of soup. By the way, did you get the ones I sent, Liz? If not, I’ll send more – I have a few! 🙂

    • Liz says:

      Sorry yes I did get them – thankyou!!! very much. I reckon you can use pretty much any that you would eat as green beans although the flavour/texture might vary. Having said that there are some beans (eg Kidney and lima beans) that I understand you need to be careful about boiling for a while (at least 10 minutes – which I think you would need to more than do to cook them) before adding to stews so maybe boil them in a separate pot and then add them once cooked in you are worried. This Wikipedia entry seems to cover it:

  11. kitsapFG says:

    Wow… such an abundance of summer goodness. The basil and peppers look particularly appealing to me right now.

  12. Michelle says:

    Such lovely harvests. I miss fresh peppers and basil. Preserved and dried peppers are tasty, but they don’t have the sweet crunch of fresh…

    Years ago when I lived in a slightly warmer area I was able to grow a curry plant that actually set berries. I didn’t try to eat them but I was able to get some of them to sprout and even nurtured a few to get fairly mature. The hardest part was keeping the seedlings alive, I’m not sure what I did wrong but I managed to kill most of them off. I remember reading that the seeds are only viable when fresh, so don’t wait too long before you sow them.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for the advice – I sowed them today. I sowed some last year too and I got one out of 3 to germinate but it took ages – as in months. It will be interesting to see how this lot do.

  13. Julie says:

    I think I should show your lovely pepper harvest pictures to my little seedlings- perhaps it can be motivation for a super, duper productive season! Those curry leaf berries look interesting… good luck growing them or eating them or both.

  14. Sophie Nilsson says:

    Hi Liz,
    I’ve just been reading over your different posts and noticed your comment on these berries.

    Have you had any success germinating the seed? What did you do?

    I’ve also collected some off my tree and they are sitting in a container waiting for me to do something with them. I’m not sure how long I should let them dry out for.

    I picked them a few weeks ago now. They are still black, but are now a little crinkled and firmer to touch.

    Cheers, Sophie

    • Liz says:

      My understanding is that the fresher you use the seed the better so they may not need to dry out at all. In the past I have planted straight away and they have germinated….eventually. The can take over 2 months so patience seems to be key and depending on where you are you may need to bring them inside (into the warm) to germinate. When I have sown the seed in the past I have generally just put it in a pot full of potting mix and then keep the mix moist. I plan to do a bit more experimentation with this years berries.

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